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2 Iowa teens accused of killing high school Spanish teacher

DES MOINES, Iowa – A city in southeast Iowa is in shock after two high school students were charged with first degree murder in the death of a Spanish teacher who taught at their school.

Police confirmed Thursday that the human remains found in Fairfield’s Chautauqua Park Wednesday were those of Nohema Graber, who was reported missing earlier today, according to a statement from the town of Fairfield posted on Facebook.

Graber, 66, has been teaching Spanish at Fairfield High School since 2012. Police allege two high school students – Willard Noble Chaden Miller, 16, and Jeremy Everett Goodale, 16 – are responsible for his death.

Both have been charged with first degree homicide and first degree conspiracy to commit homicide and will be charged as adults “depending on the circumstances and their age,” according to the press release.

Fairfield students were kicked out of class early Thursday and classes were canceled on Friday.

According to a criminal complaint, investigators said Graber was last known at Chautauqua Park on Tuesday – she frequently walked around the park in the afternoon.

Police said they found his body in the park on Wednesday under a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties. Detectives wrote that their preliminary investigation indicated that Graber had suffered “trauma to the head.”

Police have been told that Goodale has posted details of the murder planning and possible motive on social media, court documents show. Court documents did not detail the possible motive.

A search warrant for the suspects’ homes uncovered clothing that appeared to have blood on it, police said.

Nohena graber

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, Jefferson County attorney Chauncey Molding called the case tragic, but declined to provide further details to protect the integrity of the investigation underway.

Those who know Graber say she was a leader in the Latino community of Fairfield. And, they say, his love for his family, community and students was fierce.

“All the things she still wanted to do …” said Edith Cabrera, 55, a Fairfield resident who said Thursday that she had been friends with Graber since 2005.

“She was an exceptional person, a lovely person,” Cabrera said. “Especially with his family, even with his students.”

Graber’s death has left community members in shock and grief as they struggle to find answers, Cabrera said.

“We don’t know exactly what happened. Why ? asked Cabrera. “She was a great friend, a great community leader and an even better person.”

Laurie Noll, the Superintendent of the Fairfield Community School District, said in a statement Thursday: “In her nine years with Fairfield High School, Ms. Graber has touched the lives of many students, parents and staff.”

Noll said the high school will remain open to students who need to meet with school counselors, a crisis response team or pastoral care.

“We send our deepest condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Ms. Graber. At this time, the well-being of our students and staff is our top priority. As a community, we will stand united in this time of tragedy, ”Noll wrote.

Iowa State Education Association president Mike Beranek also expressed grief over Graber’s murder Thursday afternoon.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues… An act like this is indescribable, and we are torn that a member of our educational family is the victim of such a foolish act,” wrote Beranek in a press release. .

“Every day, educators work tirelessly to protect the students in their care. With full hearts and deep commitment, educators have been the backbone of our state and nation during this unprecedented time. cannot understand that, nor any violence aimed at such guardians. “

Contributors: Chris Higgins and Daniel Lathrop; The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa Teens Charged With Murder Of High School Spanish Teacher

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